Old lathe questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by cfexrun posted 09-08-2014 08:54 PM 2529 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View cfexrun's profile


4 posts in 1590 days

09-08-2014 08:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe montgomery ward threadless

Hope I’m posting in the right section, since there’s also a wood turning option. I’d check, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to view the forum categories or search just the forums.

Anyway, I bought a lathe. It’s a Montgomery Ward, likely some version of their shopsmith, and is pretty neat. However, being old and vaguely dodgy, it has some issues. I also have issues, being new to lathes.

The main issue is that the headstock is of the threadless variety. The unit didn’t come with a drive center, just a drill style chuck and a small two-jaw chuck that could be good for pen blanks. The two jaw was being held by the drill style. There’s also a threaded adapter. My lack of knowledge is making this vague, for which I apologize. It boils down to; what’s the best way to attach a drive center to this? The shaft is 1/2” diameter. I haven’t yet been able to determine the threading of the adapter.

Of lesser importance is the tailstock center. It’s a single rod that can be driven out, with threads on one side and a sort of cup and pin dead center on the other.

Really, even just knowing what these styles are called would give me some googling power.

I’ll attempt to link some pictures. Pay no attention to the mess in the background.


5 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


7101 posts in 2433 days

#1 posted 09-09-2014 05:38 PM

That lathe looks like one made by Powr-Kraft for Montomery Ward, but kind of hard to ID based on those pictures. Do you have the model number? Here is one that looks very similar, found at the vintagemachinery site:

Seems like it also had a grinding wheel on the outbound side of the headstock which yours is missing, and the centers are secured to the headstock using a set screw (bolt?):

Being a pretty old machine, you might have better luck finding information over at the OWWM site. The lathe in the pictures above is listed as being made in 1940.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View cfexrun's profile


4 posts in 1590 days

#2 posted 09-09-2014 05:49 PM

Ah, yes, that looks just like it! The accessories definitely use a set screw. I wondered what kind of accessory used to live on the other end of the thing. The model number is 24fd637a. I’ll check out OWWM.


View cfexrun's profile


4 posts in 1590 days

#3 posted 09-09-2014 06:08 PM

Woohoo! I was able to find a set screw spur for this thing on ebay. Said model 04FD637A, in case anyone else is looking. This should get me by until I can get better things fabricated.

View fumehappy's profile


138 posts in 2486 days

#4 posted 09-09-2014 07:28 PM

the pin and cup on the tail stock is a dead center. You will have to apply lubricant, such as past wax in the cup.

I have the same lathe more or less, my first one as well. Tool rest broke on me, so I made a new one. The stock one is awfully short when you want to turn something bigger than a chisel handle. good one to learn on.

View cfexrun's profile


4 posts in 1590 days

#5 posted 09-09-2014 07:35 PM

I realized it was a dead center, but had no idea that I’d need to lube it, so thank you very much for the info. Obvious when I think about it, but thinking isn’t always my strong suit. I can see where the rest can be a problem down the road.

Funnily enough, I too had some motor issues when I first got it. The fella I bought it from hadn’t used it for 5 years because it stopped. First I realized that the thermal protection tripped, so I reset that, but it would lock up after a vigorous partial spin. Turned out to be some bad insulation on one of the wires to the primary winding. 5 years of disuse because of a tiny problem. Oh well, my gain.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics